Maybe I could have alternatively titled this post; How To Make Sure Your Prospect Doesn’t Make A Chimpanzee Of Themselves.
The inimitable Hans Rosling bequeathed a project to his children Anna and Ola. One they’ve progressed with gusto. Factfulness is the family play on mindfulness. Exposing where we have the tendency to think the world is going to pieces … in stark contravention of the actual, true facts.
I’ve read and heard plenty from them around their topic during the book launch this month.
From a solution Sale perspective, perhaps the most startling lesson, is that we can head off prospect misunderstandings before they hit us.
They frame their work through ten “dramatic instincts”. These are reasons why we naturally miss the point. Abandon any curiosity for the reality. Ignore building upon the key of any specific knowledge.
Happily, they both set out these instincts that blinker us, and then offer rules of thumb to clear their fog.
Posters of which can be downloaded in pdf form.
- The Gap Instinct (‘look at the gap!’) is controlled when you locate the majority (‘is there really a gap?’)
- The Negativity Instinct (‘it’s getting worse!’) is controlled when you expect negative news (‘would improvement get attention?’)
- The Straight-Line Instinct (‘it just continues!’) is controlled when you imagine bending lines (‘why would this line not bend?’)
- The Fear Instinct (‘it’s scary!’) is controlled when you calculate the risk (‘is it really dangerous?’)
- The Size Instinct (‘it’s big!’) is controlled when you check the proportions (‘is it big in comparison?’)
- The Generalisation Instinct (‘they’re all the same!’) is controlled when you question your categories (‘how are they different?’)
- The Destiny Instinct (‘it never changes!’) is controlled when you notice small changes (‘isn’t it always changing slowly?’)
- The Single Perspective Instinct (‘this is the solution!’) is controlled when you use multiple tools (‘what other solutions exist?’)
- The Blame Instinct (‘that’s the bad guy!’) is controlled when you resist pointing the finger (‘what systems made this possible?’)
- The Urgency Instinct (‘it’s now or never!’) is controlled when you take small steps (‘can we make decisions as we go?’)
Shorn of depth and broader context these may be tricky to take worthy sales tips from, yes. Yet you probably can recognise at least one of these dampening the thinking of your current prospects. Can you use that insight to help switch such situation around?
Also the way they ask their questions can go right into a sales presentation. Offer three options around a subject close to their heart where the answer will make them feel all is not lost and spark interest.
Then see who gets it right.
As for my earlier reference to our chimp cousins, it seems their research shows that when given three choices our guess as to the correct ‘facts’, despite our superior intelligence, fare worse than a random chimp always choosing the same answer.